Each week throughout the NFL season, we identify six players to target on waiver wires, plus a lightly owned D/ST. All are available in a majority of Yahoo leagues and approved for immediate use. Add as needed.
Paul Richardson, WR, Seattle Seahawks, 30% owned
Richardson starred in Seattle’s instant-classic win over Houston on Sunday, hauling in six passes for 105 yards and two scores on seven targets, with multiple highlight grabs included (like this one and this one). With seven games now in the books, Richardson is on pace for 855 receiving yards and double-digit TDs. Numbers like those will play in any fantasy format. Doug Baldwin remains the undisputed No.1 receiving option in Seattle — he leads the team in targets by a healthy margin — but Richardson leads all Seahawks in touchdowns (5) and receptions of 20-plus yards (8). Seattle has also cleared its bye week, so no worries there. Richardson doesn’t have any obvious stay-away matchups in the weeks ahead, and he’s drawn five or more targets in five of his seven games. He deserves an ownership percentage in the neighborhood of 70, yet he’s available in over two-thirds of Yahoo leagues.
Schedule, next three weeks: Was, at Ari, Atl
FAAB bid: $14 of $100 budget
Jay Cutler, QB, Miami Dolphins, 10%
If Week 8 taught us anything, it’s that perhaps Matt Moore should not be starting for an NFL team. Moore was dreadful in Miami’s blowout loss to Baltimore on Thursday night. We shall not speak of him again. Cutler hasn’t exactly delivered a quarterbacking clinic at all times this season, but he managed a pair of multi-TD games in Weeks 6-7 before suffering fractured ribs and sitting in Week 8. He’s expected to return on Sunday night, an he’ll face an Oakland pass defense that somehow doesn’t have an interception through eight games. (Let’s not assume that stat will survive a date with Jay, but zero picks in eight games is insane.) The Raiders are also allowing 8.0 yards per pass attempt this season, which ranks 30th in the league. Cutler, for all his issues, is a tolerable single-serving fantasy option, with another messy bye-week upcoming. He should get DeVante Parker back from injury in Week 9 as well.
Schedule, next three weeks: Oak, at Car, TB
FAAB bid: $5
Alex Collins, RB, Baltimore Ravens, 34%
Collins has averaged a whopping 6.0 yards per carry on 80 attempts so far this season, and he’s coming off a 113-yard rushing performance against Miami. He’s handled double-digit carries in each of Baltimore’s last four games. Collins out-touched Buck Allen in Week 8, 20 to 18, and he out-gained him by 86 scrimmage yards. Simply put, Collins needs to be almost universally owned. We’ve promoted him in previous pickups pieces; this will serve as final call. He’s a primary early-down rushing weapon for a team with a quality defense and a terrible passing game. Collins should be a priority add this week.
Schedule, next three weeks: at Ten, bye, at GB
FAAB bid: $14
Rex Burkhead, RB, New England Patriots, 8%
New England is headed into a bye, so it’s unlikely Burkhead will actually top anyone’s list of waiver claims this week. If you can afford to look ahead, place a strong bid for his services. He caught seven balls on as many targets against the Chargers on Sunday, finishing with 68 receiving yards and adding another 15 on the ground. Dion Lewis again led the Patriots in carries and rushing yards (15 for 44), but Burkhead played almost as many snaps:
Final Patriots RB snap tracker: Dion Lewis 30, Rex Burkhead 27, James White 20, Mike Gillislee 13. FB James Develin was on for 29.
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) October 30, 2017
New England has a date with Denver after the bye, and both he and James White figure to function as key receiving weapons against a defense with upper-tier corners. Burkhead should find his way to PPR rosters in Week 10.
Schedule, next three weeks: bye, at Den, at Oak
FAAB bid: $5
Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans, 26%
The talented rookie has played exactly one full game this season due to persistent hamstring issues, but he’s expected to return for this week’s tilt with Baltimore. Davis was targeted 10 times in Tennessee’s opener, so he’ll clearly have fantasy relevance for the balance of the year, assuming good health. He was, without much question, the most complete receiver prospect in this year’s draft class. Davis claims to have used his downtime well, for what it’s worth. He needs to be rostered in pretty much any league with 12 or more teams. Davis is an every-route receiver with size (6-foot-3) and exceptional ball skills. Own and enjoy.
Schedule, next three weeks: Bal, Cin, at Pit
FAAB bid: $9
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions trade asset, 0%
Look, it’s probably nothing — merely a rumor about a rumor — but according to multiple reports, teams have contacted the Lions about potentially dealing for Megatron ahead of Tuesday’s trade deadline. The Eagles and Jaguars are apparently interested. As of this writing, we have no reason to think that Calvin himself is seriously considering a comeback. None, zero.
And yet, well … the man is only 32. He’s two years younger than Larry Fitzgerald, in fact. Johnson caught 88 balls for 1214 yards and nine scores just two seasons ago, playing all 16 games. Don’t pretend you aren’t even a little bit intrigued by the possibility of, say, a Carson Wentz-Calvin Johnson combo. In the unlikely-but-not-impossible event that Megatron is willing to consider a return, he’s certainly worth a flier. Mid-season receiver acquisitions don’t generally make fantasy noise, but we’re talking about an all-time talent.
You’ve asked for Calvin to be made available in the game, and who are we to deny the people what they want?
Calvin Johnson’s been forced into our game. He’ll show up after an overnight system update and be subject to your league’s waiver rules pic.twitter.com/X4EzYYaOMS
— Yahoo Fantasy Sports (@YahooFantasy) October 30, 2017
Let’s remember that the original Megatron was frozen in the Arctic for like a thousand years, and he was still pretty formidable when he returned. Calvin has been out of action for only 22 months.
Schedule, next three weeks: unknown
FAAB bid: $1? $0? All the FAAB? Let’s make this call on Tuesday.
Buffalo Bills, D/ST, 46%
If you added the Bills ahead of their home matchup with Oakland, you had to be happy with the results. Buffalo delivered four takeaways and a defensive score against the Raiders. You can expect another useful fantasy line this weekend when the Bills face the Jets and Josh McCown. Buffalo has allowed just 16.4 points per game this season, third best in the NFL. This is a legit D, not simply a one-week placeholder.
Schedule, next three weeks: at NYJ, NO, at LAC
FAAB bid: $3
Additional adds to consider: QB Jared Goff, QB Josh McCown, RB Orleans Darkwa, RB Alfred Morris, RB Matt Breida, WR Tyler Lockett, WR Robby Anderson, WR Dede Westbrook, TE Vernon Davis